With a victory in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita on March 17, Fault became the second G1 winner from the third crop of racers by champion Blame (by Arch). Last year, 3-year-old Senga won the G1 Prix de Diane at Chantilly racecourse in France and pointed out the principal pedigree line absent from her sire, A.P. Indy / Seattle Slew.

Senga is out of a mare by Horse of the Year A.P. Indy, and two other graded stakes winners by Blame are out of a daughter and a granddaughter of the Belmont Stakes winner. Additionally, among Blame’s stakes winners, one is out of daughter of Flatter (A.P. Indy) and another is out of a granddaughter of Seattle Slew.

In contrast, Fault does not have A.P. Indy nor his famous sire in her pedigree but does reinforce some of the eminent lines that Blame already possesses. The son of Arch and the Seeking the Gold mare Liable already possesses inbreeding to Raise a Native, Northern Dancer, Nashua (2) and his sire Nasrullah (4 times), among others.

The only branches of Phalaris not in the immediate pedigree of Blame are those from A.P. Indy and Storm Cat (and the latter’s grandsire Northern Dancer is there twice).

So, Fault adds presences of only Northern Dancer, Raise a Native, and Nashua.

Bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm and sold for $120,000 as a yearling at Keeneland September, Fault is on the light side of inbreeding for Blame. And there appears to be a conscious effort to limit inbreeding in this match by taking a daughter of South African champion Horse Chestnut to the stallion.

A massively talented racehorse who won the South African Triple Crown and 10 of 11 starts, including two here in the States, Horse Chestnut brings in the Sadler’s Wells line of Northern Dancer but also introduces the robust strains of Washington D.C. International winner Wilwyn, Sham’s sire Pretense, Kentucky Derby winner Swaps, and 1955 English highweight 3-year-old colt Acropolis.

In addition to the outcross potential in Horse Chestnut, Charming N Lovable, the dam of Fault, was a stakes winner at Hollywood Park. The other unarguable quality of this pedigree is the outstanding racing ability of the sires of the dams in this family line. In addition to a Southern Hemisphere Triple Crown winner, there is second dam sire St. Jovite (Pleasant Colony), winner of the 1992 Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and his daughter St Lucinda was twice stakes-placed at Keeneland and produced three stakes winners.

Neither Horse Chestnut nor St. Jovite were nearly as good at stud as on the racetrack, but the same would not be said so strongly of third dam sire Majestic Prince (Raise a Native), winner of the 1969 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, or fourth dam sire Nashua (Nasrullah), Horse of the Year and winner of the 1955 Preakness and Belmont.

This is in sum, a very classic pedigree. A very classy pedigree.

And it is not one that should create visions of sprint performance or unusually early maturity.

Those are traits that do not seem widely present among the offspring of Blame. A few of them can win sprinting, but Claiborne’s Bernie Sams said, “Trainers are learning how to get the best out of them. But they’ve had to change their attitudes about how to train and race them. Blame’s stock want some distance; they want to get some maturity in them. And if you are patient and give them what they want, they can be really good horses.”

Because of all these factors coming together, “the horse has been hot as fire the last few weeks,” Sams continued, but that is also partly about achieving a critical mass of the sire’s stock that are being trained the right way for them and pointed to the right races.

As a result, in addition to 4-year-old Fault, Blame has three 3-year-old stakes winners of 2018. Maraud won the G3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream. Then the fillies are represented by 2018 stakes winners Ms Bad Behavior and Blamed, plus Daisy, who won the G3 Tempted in November 2017 and was second in a stakes last month.

With the volume of success coming his way, Blame is getting more attention from breeders and is expected to get a book of 110 mares this season.

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